Alongside some new, smooth blacktop on roads that haven't been paved in far too long a time, Fulton and Linden Hills residents could get something new out of the paving projects going on right now—bicycle lanes.
With a good chunk of its roads being resurfaced this year, a group of locals calling themselves Southwest Pedal Power is trying to convince neighborhood residents and city planners to back bike lanes on West 44th Street connecting 44th and France and Lake Harriet, and another set running from Lake Calhoun to Highway 62 down either Sheridan Avenue South or Upton Avenue South. In some places along the two routes, the group is pushing for "sharrows" like those on Bryant Avenue rather than full bike lanes, due to space constraints.
The pavement is already being torn up (see map), they say, so 'why not?'
"Southwest Minneapolis is starved for bike lanes," Linea Palmisano, one of the group's leaders, told a recent meeting of the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC).
And, if you like bike lanes, she's on the money. Aside from 1st Avenue, Blaisdell Avenue, 40th Street, Bryant Avenue, and the Grand Rounds trails, there's nothing to compare to other neighborhoods' web of bike lanes connecting major business and activity nodes.
They've also got support from planners at the City of Minneapolis—both routes Southwest Pedal Power is advocating for are named on the city's list of future projects on the Bicycle Master Plan—so Palmisano and her group are focused on building support among neighbors. In the last few weeks, they've been zooming around Southwest Minneapolis, meeting with neighborhood and business associations, and canvassing National Night Out block parties.
So far, they've gotten the nod from the Fulton Neighborhood Association, and could soon get the support of LHiNC, as well.
Starting this week, though, they're looking for a lot of public input at four sessions:
Thurs August 23rd, 2012: 4-7 p.m., Linden Hills Park Rec Center or outside if the weather is nice
Sat August 25th, 2012: 2-4 p.m., Sebastian Joe’s
Sun August 26th, 2012: Join Susan Priem at the Bikes Booth at Linden Hills Farmer’s Market.
Wed August 29th, 2012: 6-8 p.m., Linden Hills Co-op Community Room.